Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Of fiscal and other cliffs

Most likely American politicians will reach a deal that prevents the country from going over the so called fiscal cliff, and most likely they will do it as late as possible. This is all part of the political theatre. Invent a problem, describe it as a matter of economic survival, and solve it half an hour before deadline in an all night meeting with no journalists present.
Rocky Cliff with Stormy Sea Cornwall-William Trost Richards-1902
In deed, there are real problems to solve. There is climate change. A war in Syria. An economy that no one is content with. Not all world citizens have access to clean water - others still have o access to education. But "the fiscal cliff"? Unlike these other problems it does not correspond to anything happening in the real world - it is a problem invented by US politicians, it would be rather disappointing if they can not even solve that.

It is easy to criticize politicians. But maybe the problem is not that they are not doing their job, but that they are nothing but human? Maybe it is the curse of humanity that we can only solve the problems we have invented (not the one we have caused) - on an individual as well as societal scale. We are apt at resolving quarrels with friends that were not really about anything at all, but quite unable to deal with facts beyond our own making, e.g. our own death. Similarly, society is better at solving problems related to traffic - a system invented by us, than problems relating to matters beyond our control, like some historical - or environmental issues.

If so... it would mean that we can expect from politicians to solve the fiscal cliff (and maybe ask them not to invent another one), and blame them for all those kids who don't go to school. But on the other issues, clean water and climate change, we can not expect human solutions. We have no choice but trusting our faith and good luck.

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